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Author Topic: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display  (Read 14162 times)

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Offline SkyHawk

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Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« on: August 03, 2012, 01:22:49 PM »
Hi, I am new on this forum. I have been reading you for some days and finally I have been encouraged to write.


Well, I am trying to set up a solar sensor like what Breitling did in this topic:


http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,22149.msg174442.html#msg174442




If I have understood it correctly, the solar sensor structure will be something like this, right?:  :?:


Solar Cell ---> Variable Resistor ---> LabJack ---> Weather Display




But reading this forum, I have seen that Weather Display does not interact well with LabJack U3 so, if I use the LabJack U12 model, would I have some kind of problem?

U12 does not have problems with Weather Display, not?



I have also seen that some math conversion and solar graphing problems have been reported when using this type of solar sensor.


http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,27374.0.html 

http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,22204.60.html

http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,23914.0.html

http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,17574.msg137370.html#msg137370


Have these problems been solved?



And finally, would I need to program something with the computer (with programming language) or is like "Plug and Play"?

As I have seen, when you have build up this type of sensor you have to calibrate it, but if I do not have any professional equipment to do that, can I use a calibrated solar cell or I will need to calibrate it anyway?


http://www.spheralsolar.com/products/Calibrated-Solar-Cell.html

http://www.tiendaelektron.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=2_19&products_id=260

http://www.pvmeasurements.com/products/reference-cells

http://www.newport.com/Reference-Solar-Cell-and-Meter/545467/1033/info.aspx




Thank you very much and sorry if there are some language errors.


Regards and thanks again.

Online Weather Display

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 07:30:53 PM »
the U3 should  work OK with that type of sensor and WD
and yes there are some calibration work needed

you could instead use a 1 wire solar sensor

Offline SkyHawk

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 08:23:36 PM »
But U12 should work well also, not?

Have the problems with volts and mv math conversion been solved?


I do not have any 1 wire system. What would be best for use only with this solar sensor (I have not started or bought anything yet), use the LabJack or start a 1 wire system from 0?
I would need to program something with some of these methods?


And finally, is very difficult to calibrate the sensor without a weather station and no other solar sensors?  Will it help if I use a calibrated solar cell?



Thank you, I am very grateful with your help.


Pd: I am writing from Spain so, sorry if I can not answer instantly your answers.

Offline ALITTLEweird1

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 01:56:01 AM »
A 1-wire solar sensor will work with any weather station with WD. You can see the sensor here...

http://www.hobby-boards.com/store/products/Temp%7B47%7DSolar.html
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Offline Budgie

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 05:56:01 AM »
......and here's the FAQ for the WD setup of a 1-Wire sensor: http://www.weather-watch.com/smf/index.php/topic,55858.0.html

I used a 1-Wire solar sensor for a couple of years and this was the only 1-Wire sensor I had. It worked fine and was easy to set up, the only calibration needed was to alter the max solar through the year to match the max for that time of year. As you're in Spain then you will have to do this less often than me.  :wink:

Offline SkyHawk

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 09:12:58 AM »
I have never worked with 1 wire, and I do not have any intention of having more sensors apart from this solar sensor.


So, what would you recommend me? Continue with the solar cell and the LabJack project, or start working with 1 wire?



Which system is easier to set up and what needs less calibration?


What do I need to start with 1 wire from zero? It is necessary to programme something with the computer to make it work?



Thanks.


PD: I do not have any weather station or other solar sensors; it is my first time in the world of weather observation.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:23:01 AM by SkyHawk »

Offline niko

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 01:41:43 PM »
If you have no weather-station then Weather-Display may not work for you because it normally expects to be getting weather data, especially barometric pressure, which it validates as being reasonable before recording any data.

How important is calibration to you? How accurate do you need the data to be? Answering those questions will help determine the best solution, because to get a scientifically accurate result you would need to start with an accurate sensor, both electronically and optically.

Please tell us more about what you are trying to accomplish and we can help you better.

Offline SkyHawk

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 05:28:54 PM »
I am doing a Pre-University research project about Sun that will punctuate me for the access to the university; and one part of this project will be record data of the solar radiation in my city. But it do not have to be very accurate.

I was worried about calibration because I do not have any other weather observation equipment (weather station or other sensors) so, I do not know if it is going to be very difficult to calibrate (more or less; as I have said, it do not have to be very accurate) the sensor.


And, no I do not have any weather-station; my idea was to connect the solar cell to the LabJack U12 and the LabJack to computer with the Weather Display program to obtain a graphic like that. Will it work?




Well, that is my main idea. Do you think that is possible to do this or is better to use 1 wire system?

Offline jmcmurry

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 06:05:59 PM »
I believe you could run Weather Display in stationless mode and use a local METAR for weather data.  Hopefully others will chime in and confirm that.

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Offline Budgie

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 09:16:48 PM »
Yep, Stationless should work fine and then add either Labjacks or 1-Wire as an extra sensor.

Having used 1-Wire, that's all I have to go on, but all you need is the 1-Wire solar sensor and the USB adaptor to run it with WD.
Once WD is set up with your location, it will calculate the max solar for your location & time of day to give you the solar percentage. There is very little calibration required other than getting the sensor in a position where it can "see" 180 of the sky.

Basically all you need is a PC/laptop running WD, Solar Sensor, USB Adaptor and a length of CAT5 cable with an RJ45 on one end and an RJ12 connector on the other.
 

Offline SkyHawk

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2012, 09:51:14 PM »
Yep, Stationless should work fine and then add either Labjacks or 1-Wire as an extra sensor.

Having used 1-Wire, that's all I have to go on, but all you need is the 1-Wire solar sensor and the USB adaptor to run it with WD.
Once WD is set up with your location, it will calculate the max solar for your location & time of day to give you the solar percentage. There is very little calibration required other than getting the sensor in a position where it can "see" 180 of the sky.

Basically all you need is a PC/laptop running WD, Solar Sensor, USB Adaptor and a length of CAT5 cable with an RJ45 on one end and an RJ12 connector on the other.

Really?  8O


I only need this to set up the 1 wire solar sensor?

It looks much easier than working with the solar cell and the LabJack. It is sure that I only need this to make it work?
And, this sensor does not need any more calibration than getting it in a position where it can "see" 180 of the sky?


Can somebody more confirm that this will work with "Stationless"?


Thank you very much for your help! :D



PD: Does it need external power to work?

https://www.hobby-boards.com/store/pages.php?pageid=9
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:54:09 PM by SkyHawk »

Offline Budgie

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 10:59:59 PM »
PD: Does it need external power to work?

https://www.hobby-boards.com/store/pages.php?pageid=9
If you're only running the solar sensor then it'll be fine using the power from the USB port, it's only when you add the likes of the barometer and rain gauge that you need a hub or power injector added into the system.  :wink:

If no one else answers about stationless and the solar then I'll try it in the morning as I have WD on different PC to my normal weather PC, for testing and writing FAQ's, and I can change that to stationless and add my 1-wire solar sensor into it to test. But I'm sure there won't be any issues with it.  :wink:

Offline niko

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 12:11:41 AM »
Most likely stationless + 1-wire solar will be OK, but it would be good to check.

Since the OP isn't worried about accuracy then I agree, a 1-wire solar should do it.

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 04:50:56 AM »
stationless will work (and yes you could set to use a local Metar for data)
and then use a 1 wire solar sensor

Offline Budgie

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Re: Solar sensor: Solar Cell + LabJack + Weather Display
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 06:40:17 AM »
Thanks Brian.  :thumbright:

 

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